We had the good fortune of connecting with Dean Shepherd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dean, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had multiple reasons for starting my own business. Having been in the music industry full-time since the age of 13, I’ve noticed that up and coming artists aren’t receiving the support they need. In addition to having to pay to play at many clubs/bars, voice lessons have become a luxury item for artists rather than a regular part of their development.
Although teaching someone how to sing and express themselves and their art is incredible and wonderful, a voice lesson should not cost hundreds of dollars. I’ve intentionally kept my rates reasonable so that most of my artists can train with me on a regular if not weekly basis for maximum improvement. I specialize in training artists to be great singers. Plus, expert coaching combined with a fair rate equals a packed studio.
Another reason for starting my own business was to work with the artists I coach in the studio as a vocal producer, helping them record their songs. Possessing the skills of vocal coach/producer and engineer, I am able to help my singers deliver the best performance of their songs for their recordings.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I strive to make Vocal Dimension a place where singers feel supported and encouraged in their creative endeavors. My last name is Shepherd, and the word ‘shepherd’ means to guide another in the direction of their dreams. That is what I aspire to do. The LA entertainment world can be a very dog eat dog environment. I try to provide artist with a safe supportive space to grow as well as connect them with others in the industry.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Having worked with over 250 singers this past year, I attend shows all the time since one or more of my singers is bound to be performing each week somewhere in LA. So, a night out would probably include dinner at Casa Vega or Maria’s Italian Kitchen on Ventura Blvd. followed by ice cream at Salt and Straw for dessert. After that, I would have them accompany me to the Fonda Theatre, El Rey, or wherever my singer was performing for a backstage experience. Finally, we’d end the evening at a salsa dancing club — not every knows I am a semi-professional latin dancer, having taught and competed at one time!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Special thanks to Ella London, my wife and studio manager at Vocal Dimension Studio LLC. Although I may be the face of the studio, she runs the back end, everything from creating the website, billing, scheduling, and all that computer techie stuff that would drive me nuts if I had to do it. And of course Hurley the Havanese who brightens up the studio whenever he visits!